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Motiva Enterprises (2719), Convent

Causal Factor: Seal or Gasket

LDEQ Accident Number
Accident Date
Point Source(s) Notes Amount of Release

HTU-2 Fire and Release from recycle Compressor
Cause: At approximately 10:25 am on 10/29/05, there was a small fire on 14C-201 recycle compressor on HTU-2. A small fire was ignited by lube oil escaping the seals on the turbine outboard bearing cap onto the turbine case which was in full operation during the leak. It appears that the lube oil reservoir overfilled which impeded flow through the lube oil return line back to the reservoir.

Followup: No

Notes: The fire was immediately extinguished by operations using a fixed fire monitor. Due to the fire the hydrogen system on the unit had to be depressured to the flare resulting in flaring for several minutes. The unit was depressured for repair. Incident is under investigation using Triangle of Prevention program. Mitigations are likely to be a combination of engineering, i.e. different technology for measuring levels and revising procedure No reportable quantities were exceeded.
Lubricating Oil: 10.0 gallons
Particulate Matter 10: 1.1 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide: 5.8 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): 11.8 pounds
Carbon Monoxide: 31.3 pounds

Pump 14P-305
Cause: At approximately 7:35 pm smoke was observed coming from the HTU-2 area. Unit operations personnel subsequently discovered a fire on pump 14P-305 originating from the pump's outboard seal.

Followup: No

Notes: The event was localized in the refinery. Pump was isolated from associated process units so as not to affect unit operations. No reportable quantities were exceeded.
Diesel Fuel: 200.0 gallons
Particulate Matter 10: 0.2 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide: 5.1 pounds
Sulfur Oxides: 0.3 pounds
Carbon Monoxide: 1.1 pounds

line from tank farm to VPS-2 unit
Cause: Gasket failure on gas oil line going from the tank farm to the vacuum pipestills-2 (VPS-2) unit.

Followup: No

Notes: spilled material recovered with vacuum truck, soil scraped. Gasket changed and line put back in service.
Gas Oil: 126.0 gallons

Steam Boiler EPN 31F-810
Tail Gas Treatment Unit No. 4 Incinerator Stack EPN 78H-101
VPS-2 Atmospheric Tower Feed Heater EPN 83H-101
Cause: The seal on a diesel circulation pump on VPS-2 (a crude distillation unit) failed as a reslut of a suspected bearing problem. This seal failure caused the release of approximately 434 bbls of untreated (sour) diesel, which ignited, resulting in a fire.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Motiva has slowed down production throughout the refinery until investigations are complete. Inspected, repaired, and rebuilt the pump as necessary. W/r/t pump seal failure, rotating equipmt and other personnel will complete the investigation and implement necessary changes to monitoring, inspection, and maintenance procedures
Nitrogen Oxide: 437.0 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide: 3,694.0 pounds
Sulfur Trioxide: 148.0 pounds
Carbon Monoxide: 91.0 pounds
Particulate Matter: 60.0 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): 13.0 pounds
Nitrous Oxide: 5.0 pounds
Formaldehyde: 1.0 pounds
Sour Diesel: 129,000.0 pounds

Fuel oil pump 70P-384
Cause: While conducting evening rounds on the H-Oil unit, operations personnel noticed a fire on the seal of the fuel oil pump 70P-384. A leaking seal on the pump and high process temperatures resulted in the fire.

Followup: No

Notes: The pump was isolated from the process to cease fuel oil leakage. Approximately 22 gallons of fuel oil was released during the incident with 20 gallons being contained on the unit slab and the remainder being combusted. Operations personnel quickly responded with a fire extinguisher and extingushed the fire. Other operations personnel ceased operation of the pump and isolated it from the process. Motiva quickly activated the Emergency Response Plan. Motiva will continue to inspect pumps and associated process equipment during normal operational rounds for abnormal operation and for environmentally unfriendly and unsafe conditions.
Fuel oil: 22.0 gallons
Particulate Matter: 0.0 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide: 0.1 pounds
Nitrogen Dioxide: 0.1 pounds
Carbon Monoxide: 0.0 pounds
No LDEQ Reported

None Reported
Cause: leaking auto vent gasket discovered on tank during offloading of barge

Followup: No

Notes: Under investigation - no remedial actions specified

Cause: see notes

Followup: No

Notes: Fire on the HGU began as a result of an Exchanger Leak


Sulfur Recovery Unit (SRU-5)
Cause: see notes

Followup: No

Notes: trip on Sulfur Recovery Unit results in release


West Tank Farm
Cause: PUL Operations stopped a transfer of FCCU Feed from tank 20D-10 via pump 21G-48 and noticed a hydrocarbon odor in the are during the process. FCCU Feed was discovered by PUL Operations within tank 20D-10's dike area. The release source was identified as a pump flushing station for pump 21G-48. Cause of release was an open high-point vent valve with a removed cap on the discharge of a product pump. Release source id'd as a pump flushing station for pump 21G-48

Followup: Yes

Notes: 85 bbls was released to soil. A "Learning from Incident" was written and shared to refinery personnel. A focus team was formed to discuss a system to assure caps and plugs are in place and evaluate options to reduce missing caps and plugs.
FCCU Feed: 26,500.0 pounds

None Reported
Cause: seal leak on pump on H-Oil Unit

Followup: No

Notes: DEQ report gives no info concerning type and quantity of pollutants released.

VENT: Flare #1 tip
Cause: The apparent exceedance was discovered at approximately 9:20 am while Motiva Convent Refinery was preparing to perform maintenance on the Refinery Flare #1. A valve, upstream of the flare knock out drum, was used to isolate the flare line from the process to remove any residual hydrocarbons from the system prior to work being performed. However, the valve apparently leaked by allowing process gas to enter the flare knock drum and subsequently released gas through the flare tip. Since the flare was out of service at the time, there was no flame present to combust the process gas before exiting the flare tip. None of the potential exceedances listed have caused an emergency condition. There was no offsite impact as a result of this incident. Exceeded RQ 100lb H2S and 3.3lb/hr H2S

Followup: Yes

Notes: A water seal was re established in the flare knock down drum which created a barrier to prevent gas from entering the vessel and subsequently existing the flare tip. the barrier created by the water level in the knock out drum was monitored and controlled using level instrumentation. The water level controller was set to "Auto" to ensure drum water level (ie water barrier) is maintained. Operations vegan visual monitoring for water level at the flare drum to ensure the barrier stayed intact.
Hydrogen Sulfide: 1,280.3 pounds

Refinery Flare No. 3
Cause: While making observation rounds on May 14, 2012, operations identified a pin hole leak on the valve body of 70LV-149 (H-Oil unit). The operator immediately opened the bypass and isolated the 149 valve to stop the leak. As the bypass is smaller than the normal routing, this caused levels to build in upstream equipment.

Followup: Yes

Notes: In order to prevent an unsafe condition from the elevated levels, operations stabilized the unit by flaring. Reactor temperature and charge rates were reduced in order to control the level in the unit while operating on the bypass. Gases were contained in the Flare Gas Recovery until maximum operating pressures of the system required the refinery to flare. Immediately, the operating unit reduced charge to minimize the generation of gas routed to the flare. Control valve 70-LV-149 was replace in-kind on May 16, 2012. As a systemic learning from this incident, a long term solution to future problems will involve conducting an investigation using a third party contractor to understand the potential erosion/corrosion mechanism involved with this valve's failure. Motiva will use the results of this investigation to determine if the metallurgy of control valve 70-LV-149 and the surrounding bleeder, block, and isolation valves are appropriate or should be upgraded. Approximately 3,162 lbs in excess of authorized SO2 emissions. Initial report states material went offsite.
Sulfur Dioxide: 3,662.0 pounds

uncompressed seal purge
Cause: There was a leak from an uncompressed seal purge by the VPS-1 Unit.

Followup: No

Notes: They shut down and secured the unit. The incident was initially reported as an excess of the 1000 lb, RQ for compressed flammable gases. Further evaluation determined that the leak originated from an uncompressed seal purge and not the process stream.


pipe flange
Cause: On November 10, 2013, a Light Cycle Gas Oil (LCGO) release which occurred at the facility from a pipe flange in Motiva's West Tank Farm. The incident was initially reported as a potential exceedance of the 1 barrel Reportable Quantity for oil. However, after further calculation, the total amount released during this incident was determined to be below the 1 barrel RQ.

Followup: No



Catalytic Reforming Unit
Cause: A leak on a warm up line to a discharge check valve that released naptha, a gasoline component, directly onto the unit slab.

Followup: No

Notes: The incident was initially reported as a potential exceedance of the 10 pound reportable quantity for benzene. However, after further calculation, the total benzene emissions from this incident were not able reportable quantity.


pump 4G-559
Cause: On August 19, 2013, a fire was experienced on pump 4G-559 due to a seal failure. HTU-1's recycle compressor tripped on high K.O. drum level. A decision was made to slowdown, stabilize, and shutdown. Part of the activities to slowdown included putting the CRU unit on hydrogen circulation; therefore, operations shutdown the CRU charge pumps, 4G-501/559. Shortly after the pumps were stopped, 4G-559 failed, and a seal fire occurred. After thorough investigation, the cause of the seal fire was determined to be the failure of a check valve on the discharge of 4G-559. When the charge pumps were stopped, the downstream hydrogen pushed the naptha in the line backwards through the discharge line. the check valve in the discharge line did not operate as designed and the naptha and hydrogen entered 4G-559 causing it to spin in reverse. This caused friction, heat, and vibration significant enough for the pump to seize. Under these conditions, a seal fire is expected.

Followup: Yes

Notes: The units were brought down in order to stabilize the situation. The materials involved in the fire were largely combusted, as were the materials routed to the flare; they were then dispersed naturally into the air. All residual unburned materials from the pump seal fire were captured by the unit secondary containment system and recycled back into the refinery's recovered oil system. A second check valve has been installed on the discharge line to provide an additional factor of safety against the potential failure of a single check valve.
Benzene: 185.8 pounds
Carbon Monoxide: 7,514.7 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): 2,586.3 pounds
Isobutane: 0.0 pounds
Butane: 0.0 pounds
Isopentane: 0.1 pounds
Pentane: 0.1 pounds
Hexane: 0.4 pounds
NOx: 110.5 pounds
Particulate Matter: 7,183.2 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide: 221.0 pounds

Cause: Due to a rupture on a seal SO2 was released to air. The incident began at Motiva's Convent Refinery on February 13, 2013 at approximately 23:00, when the FCCU's Electric Quench Turbine experienced a trip. The FCCU experienced an upset which resulted in increased carbon monoxide emissions from the Fluidized Catalytic Cracking Unit Wet Gas Scrubber Stack (FCCU WGS.) The excess emissions ceased when the FCCU stabilized.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Pressure controller that opened and caused flaring closed at 00:25...Flaring continues, stable... No high H2S releasing to flare at this time... The incident was initially reported as a potential exceedance of the 500-lb Reportable Quantity (RQ) for sulfur dioxide (SO2). However, after further calculation, the total SO2 emissions from this incident were not above the RQ.


None Reported
Cause: On November 10, 2014 Motiva Enterprises reported a fire which occurred at the facility on the VPS-2 Unit. At approximately 22:17pm, an operator making sensory rounds noticed that pump 83P-109 was making unusual noises and starting to smoke. He called another operator to assist with the shutdown of the pump and to start up the turbine spare but before the pump could be shutdown, the seal ruptured causing a fire. An operator received flash burns to the face and was transported to Baton Rouge General Hospital for treatment.

Followup: No

Notes: The unit was brought down. The materials involved in the fire were largely combusted, as were the materials routed to the flare. All residual unburned materials from the fire were captured by the unit secondary containment system and recycled back into the refinery's recovered oil system.